Discussions, The 21st Century Classroom Course

Is it necessary for an online course to have discussions? I realize that we learn from each other. I have a group assignment in which everyone has to work together; wouldn’t that be learning from each other?

So I’m thinking, is it necessary to have “discussions” like we do on the discussion boards, or is it also effective to discuss as part of the group project? I have read that students need to “know each other” before they work well together with collaboration projects. I’m doing a coffee shop, but maybe that is not enough. I feel  like I should add a discussion because “everyone else does.” But on the other hand, that is not a good reason, especially for quality instructional design, where we learn that only what will strengthen the “big idea” is what should be included.

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